Research Director

Job description

Position Type:

Permanent Staff (EHRA NF)


SOG Sch of Government-375100

Working Title:

Research Director

Appointment Type:

EHRA Non-Faculty

Position Posting Category:

Research Professionals

Salary Range:

Dependent on Qualifications and Experience

Full Time/Part Time?:

Full-Time Permanent

Hours per Week:


Vacancy ID:


Position ID:


Posting Open Date:


Application Deadline:


Open Until Filled:


Proposed Start Date:


Position Summary:

The School of Government works to improve the lives of North Carolinians by engaging in practical scholarship that helps public officials and citizens (clients) understand and improve state and local government. The School offers up to 200 courses, webinars, and conferences for more than 12,000 public officials each year. Faculty members annually publish approximately 50 books, reports, articles, bulletins, and other print and online content related to state and local government. The School is also home to a nationally ranked graduate program in public administration and specialized centers focused on information technology and environmental finance.

The School of Government launched the ncIMPACT Initiative in 2017 to help public officials in North Carolina navigate critical policy challenges across a wide range of topics, including health, education, workforce, economic development, criminal justice, and the environment. The initiative provides civic leaders across the state with sound data, high quality research, and rigorous analysis. The ncIMPACT Initiative works closely with policymakers and other leaders to share evidence-based insights and creative policy options. The initiative also enhances leaders’ understanding of innovative practices in North Carolina, across the United States, and around the world. Over the next five years, the ncIMPACT Initiative will lead a university wide effort to improve the lives of residents of all 100 counties in North Carolina through a series of cohort-based, collective impact projects.

The Research Director is responsible for 1) conducting and producing policy research and program evaluations at the request of state, local, and nonprofit clients; (2) managing project teams composed of faculty and staff for these purposes; and (3) supporting faculty and staff as they engage in their own applied public policy advising, research, and writing.
This includes coordinating and monitoring all aspects of research (including identifying, recruiting and/or hiring consultants for portions of the work, as well as undertaking research directly); facilitating and coordinating the work of project committees and subcommittees, and acting as the primary point of contact for project design, implementation, monitoring, and reporting; collecting and analyzing data; researching and reviewing existing reports and literature; developing scopes of work, timelines, and research plans for various projects; synthesizing research, research reports, and recommendations; and writing reports and presenting findings for grant and contract funded projects that impact state and local policy.

An important part of this work involves developing and maintaining relationships with researchers on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus and beyond. The Research Director sets and monitors staffing and budgets for research projects and works with researchers and the Policy Engagement Director to prepare policy briefs. The Research Director is responsible for determining and delivering general data needs and policymaking tools for the ncIMPACT Initiative.

As noted above, the mission of the School is to improve the lives of North Carolinians by engaging in practical scholarship that helps public officials and citizens understand and improve state and local government. By working to connect public officials and citizens to robust research to support decision-making, the person in this position plays a key role in advancing the School’s mission. The Research Director reports directly to the ncIMPACT Director.

Educational Requirements:

Master’s degree in public administration, public policy, or related field or a professional degree. Applicants with a J.D. are welcome to apply but should note that this is not a legal position.

Qualifications and Experience:

Five (5) years’ public policy research experience or equivalent and one year project management experience, as well as outstanding verbal, interpersonal, planning, and writing skills.

Also required: ability to identify complex policy issues and determine significant and meaningful responsive approaches; work effectively and collaboratively with state and local policymakers and other stakeholders; monitor data collection and compliance; develop, implement, and monitor evaluation plans addressing logic models, strategic and program evaluation questions, data collection methods, analysis, and reporting; and multitask and perform assigned tasks quickly and accurately.

The ideal person in this position has experience in or potential for (1) performing qualitative and quantitative research and analysis; (2) adapting to meet the needs of many different internal and external stakeholders in complex collaboratives; (3) developing relationships and working closely with substantive experts, including faculty and professional staff in government, for-profit and not-for-profit sectors; (4) helping experts communicate clearly and effectively with policymakers and other civic leaders; (5) managing and evaluating complex projects and partnerships; (6) creating, analyzing and visualizing data, including developing high-value tools for users; (7) building and strengthening an internal research team; (8) writing proposals and (9) working independently and taking initiative while working as part of a collaborative team.

Equal Opportunity Employer :

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, color, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or status as a protected veteran.




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Job No:
Posted: 6/4/2021
Application Due: 6/14/2021
Work Type: Full Time